Plain Jane Project: 1972 Chevrolet Nova

The third generation of the Chevy Nova (1968-72) would be the car’s most popular and in recent years has been a source for Super Sport clones and tributes. The seller’s car is your basic Nova, with a six-cylinder engine and an automatic. Once you sort through the rust, it could be a clone candidate, or you could just be different and restore it exactly the way it is. Located in Curwensville, Pennsylvania, the seller acquired this Nova from its original owner. It’s available here on Hemmings for $3,500, but we’re told the price is negotiable.

I’ve always had a soft spot for these cars because my second car growing up (after a ’66 Mustang) was a 1970 Nova coupe with a 350 V8. The cars would be little changed from 1969-72, which does not explain why sales increased by 79% in 1972. You can hardly tell them apart physically. Of the nearly 350,000 Nova’s built for ’72, more than 96,000 would be 2-door sedans with a 250 I-6 motor, like the seller’s car. This one is fairly simple with baby moon hubs caps and the only options on it may be the Powerglide and a radio.

As the story goes, the original owner of the car drove it for several years and then put it into indoor storage until 1986. We don’t know if it saw any daylight going forward. From the photos provided, it looks like it was recently freed from those bonds and is ready for someone to invest time and money in the Chevy both mechanically and cosmetically. The vehicle is not running, and we assume that’s because it sat for 35 years.

The standard-issue interior looks to have survived well with no obvious flaws that we can see. These cars were famous for having cracked dash pads (mine did) but this one looks fine. The body will require some time in the metal shop, with the driver’s side quarter panel a replacement candidate because of a significant amount of rust. A hole in the trunk may have been the cause of that problem. The undercarriage is quite crusty and we’re guessing this car was driven on salty roads in the winter.

It would be nice if this car could be brought back to its original condition, but that may result in spending more than its worth because I-6 Nova’s don’t draw in collectors. Dropping a period-correct 350 under the hood and dressing the car up as a SS would be nice, but how many more of these do we need?

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Comments

  1. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    What I would do with it.

    Like 16
    • Psychofish2

      Nice. I see what you did there. 73-74 with a 68-72 front clip.

      Roofline is the giveaway.

      Saw a later model with the pre-73 bumpers on it, here in the cul de sac it looked good.

      Excellent work. Those damnable 5 mph bumpers destroyed the looks of so many cars not designed to accommodate them

      Like 2
      • Shawn

        While the 73/74 was uglier than the 68-72, there’s nothing worse than folks to slap the older clip on the younger cars. 73/74s are good looking in their own right. At the pace everyone is hacking them up, the 73/74 will all soon be more rare than real SS 68-72s.

        Like 2
  2. RMac

    Yenko deuce clone nuff said!

    Like 1
  3. RMac

    Yenko Deuce clone- nuff said!!

  4. Chris In Australia

    I’d go for something different. A worked over torque monster 292 in it. Stock looking as possible. Make a real sleeper of it.

    Like 8
    • Morgan

      Exactly!!! Back it with Turbo 350 or 700R4, and GO!

      Like 2
  5. John C.

    Since it’s hanging off the back of the tow truck it makes me think that the owner is car scrapper, probably paid $200-300 for this, that would explain why he isn’t asking 10k for it like some others do on here. Good starting point for a build. It won’t be for sale long.

    Like 1
  6. John C.

    Looking closer it still has bias ply tires on it and it’s near me in PA. Almost missed that old style Pa. license plate. Truly original car!

    Like 3
  7. Psychofish2

    ‘It would be nice if this car could be brought back to its original condition, but that may result in spending more than its worth because I-6 Nova’s don’t draw in collectors. Dropping a period-correct 350 under the hood and dressing the car up as a SS would be nice, but how many more of these do we need?”

    I agree, but if it’s your car who gives a rip that “I-6 Novas don’t draw in collectors” ? One of this gen Nova with the 153 4 cylinder would be a scream with even fewer “collectors” drawn in. Even better.
    Screw what “collectors” want. Speculators is the better word.

    My own would have been junked by now if I had had that perspective.

    Your second statement: GOLD !!!!

    Like 2
  8. BigBlocksRock

    I had one like this, only butternut yellow(one of 4 Novas I’ve owned)
    I’ve kept the 69 SS I’ve has for 30 years. I would build that 6 cyl. up.
    You can get decent HP & performance with the right parts +
    certainly wouldn’t be your run of the mill Nova.

    Like 3
    • Psychofish2

      Love that color, always.

      Thumbs up for a built up six, BigBlocks.

      Like 2
    • Neil

      Oh, that’s an SS for sure. Well, if not born that way, it will be in the next year or so.

  9. Mark

    Pretty typical picture of a Chevy getting towed around by a wrecker.

  10. Neil

    Oh, that’s an SS for sure. Well, if not born that way, it will be in the next year or so.

  11. Mark

    Had a 68 with the 6. Rust free straight body in white with clean blue interior and no frills. Paid $300. Time marches on.

    Like 1
  12. Shawn

    Hopefully the buyer fixes up this car and leaves it as a plain jane Nova. There’s way to many fake SS and Yenko cars running around. This one would be great redone and spice up the 250 inline 6. The South American Novas do wonders with that engine, and while it doesn’t sound as good as a V8, a built 6 can be a ton of fun since they can put down a lot of HP and are light as a feather.

    Like 3

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